Follow your instincts

Here is a step-by-step showing each stage of my creative process and how I realized that sometimes you need to follow your instincts in order to create something wonderful!

The assignment was to create a piece of abstract collage-style wall art for a shop like Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters for the 25–45-year-old female consumer during the course, Make Art That Sells part A. The assigned colors were: RED & YELLOW.  

I started by collecting different objects around the house to make my own marks and I created textures with pastel, watercolor, pencil, ink pens and other. Then, I transfered my artworks onto the computer and experimented a long time by moving things around. Nothing was working, so I decided to put this first attempt aside and started again with a new approach.

I fixed myself a new goal and decided to fill one page with everything that comes to my mind combining different medias. I was having a bit more fun adding watercolors on top of cut-out and scattering various shapes and doodle around the sheet. I made a happy mess! That night I went to bed feeling very relaxed visualizing my assignment and felt I was going in the right direction!

When I woke up the first thing that I did was to go straight to my office to see my artwork. I look at it but I felt confused. I didn’t like it and because I used a office paper, there was no way I could build up more layer of paint on top as adding more would turn the freedom mess into muck. I left the house and drop my kids to school and as I was walking back home I had an idea: I am going to cut my artwork into long strip and mix and match them. “I can’t wait to go home...walk faster!” Even if I didn’t really like my mess, it was hard at first to let go and cut through it but after a while it was very gratifying. Some motif and texture started emerging from my stripes as I was moving them around to try to create something new.

I took multiple pictures of different arrangement and uploaded them on my computer. I was very excited to see the result on the screen.  I played with the hue and saturation and I have to admit that the restricted color palette I was given, even if I didn’t like it at the start, was helping me to not get carried away by spending hour deciding on which color option was the best. I was having so much fun doing a digital mess now!

I stepped back to look at my artwork and asked myself what emotion and feeling do I get by looking at my work? “DREAM! I am making and building a dream. Make your dream come true! Here is my quote!”  I started gathering flowers from my flower bank (every time I make a sketch of a flower I scan it and add it to a Photoshop file that I named flower bank).I found a lovely little portrait that I made a month ago which I have been dying to use. Everything started to take shape and I felt very happy about it. “I am now done! Go to bed and tomorrow you can add the finishing touches and upload it. Wow that was quick!” Bedtime... 

The following day, I was very positive when I sat down to finish my artwork. I was feeling like I wanted to play more with it. So here I go again trying different things when EUREKA! “This could go there and this can become a kimono dress and I can add this texture at the background...” I was unstoppable, playing, singing and making my dream come true. I loved it! I was having fun making art and following my instincts! This creation was building up very fast, like if I was making a puzzle. It felt so natural, like nothing was forced because I was adding and building my artwork using pieces, texture and motif that I LIKED. I even managed to incorporate some texture and shapes created during my first exploration. I am actually very proud of the final result. 

Will you be Mine?

 Hello! I'm Sharon Montgomery and I'm super pleased to be the newest Finch here. I thought I would use this opportunity to introduce myself and describe my working process a bit. And since this is Valentine's Day, I'd like to show the creation of some Valentine's cards.

I'm not much of a Valentine's gal personally, but being in the art biz means I make an effort. Did you know that the Greeting Card Association estimates that 145 million Valentines Cards are sent out each year in the US? That does not include the classroom kind! And that Americans spend an average of $130 USD per person on Valentine's Day? Yikes! I find that hard to believe. It's time to admit that I'm Canadian and have never spent more than 10 bucks on Valentine's Day. My husband confirms this.

My process starts with sketches that the never look anything like the finished product. Just messing about with an idea.

I paint by hand, usually in acrylic. I will work on anything from wood to canvas to paper. Just depends on what's available. But I always start with the same vermillion ground colour. I find a ground colour unifies my art in a way that painting on white doesn't and you'll notice you can often see the ground colour show through in my work.

Then I start painting. I often paint icons and motifs individually and then assemble them in Photoshop so I can play around with placement and scale and change any colours I need to. 

Until I'm happy with the final results:

Occasionally I just make a traditional painting with no digital collage. I love to paint flowers.

This year, my son's class has 27 kids in it. Guess how many Valentines cards came in the box he wanted? 24. Drives me mad! So I printed out 3 copies of a card I just happened to be working on. Ta Da! Being an artist has its advantages. Happy Valentine's Day!

Mailing my dream clients

By Nataša Kaiser

Usually around the middle of December, I have one of my favorite Christmas Illustrations printed as a postcard, and I send it out to my dream clients. 

Here's a mockup of my card from 2015 – sorry, no printed version left!

Here's a mockup of my card from 2015 – sorry, no printed version left!

Not so this year. There were two reasons that made me choose a different approach, and in the end it turned out to be a good idea...

First: After taking the MATS class "Illustrating Children's Books" I learned that Art Directors at publishing houses receive tons of gorgeous pitches from very talented artists out there that would love to work with them. Zoe Tucker showed some examples that really impressed me. From beautifully wrapped packages ( in self-illustrated wrapping paper of course), illustrated envelopes (so beautiful, that they are a piece of art themselves), to a finished printed and hand bound book – you name it! So it seemed clear to me, that a simple postcard would not make much of an impression on an art director.

And second: Christmas is a very common time to send greetings and all kinds of small gifts. The amount of mail that clients receive is certainly huge during this time and it's likely not every postcard gets the attention the sender would like it to have. So I decided to wait just a couple of weeks longer and send a New Year's greetings instead of Christmas mail this time.

I wanted to show a range of my work, too. On the one hand I enjoy designing decorative patterns and on the other hand I simply love developing characters and drawing imaginative little scenes. And, I wanted to mail a package with a little bonus to it. So not just a "simple" portfolio piece, but something one could use for a longer time if they like the illustrations on it.

I decided a folded birthday calendar would do the trick:

The birthday calendar is meant to be pinned to the wall and filled in with all your friend's and family's birthdays. It has no weekdays, so it can last for years – if desired..

The birthday calendar is meant to be pinned to the wall and filled in with all your friend's and family's birthdays. It has no weekdays, so it can last for years – if desired..

I also wrote a greeting card with a short introduction and the link to my website, so art directors could see more of my work, if they liked what they received in the mailing:

I had some spare stickers and trifolds left over from my last self-promo-action and where I thought it might fit I popped a sample in the envelope. Last but not least: a little bit of careful hand-lettering goes a long way. I spent one afternoon with hand lettering and decorating the envelopes, because I remembered that Zoe Tucker spoke about the importance of the first impression. I sent out 12 mailings, got response from three companies within the first couple of days, two more responded after one week.

All the feedback was really nice, and eventually I got commissioned by Moses Verlag (verlag = publishing house) to design a textile shopper bag. I loved that job and the client was absolutely great to work with! Unfortunately I'm not allowed to show the design yet, but later this year I certainly can and I'm looking forward to sharing the result with you! ;-) 

Red, White and Blues

By Mara Penny

 

After a torturously long, ugly and bitter election, America prepares itself to usher in the 45th President of the United States.  Here is a brief visual history of this election from my perspective...  A true blue liberal woman from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Democratic Nomination

Democratic Nomination

Susan B would be proud

Susan B would be proud

Russia

Russia

Aftermath

Aftermath

There is no doubt that a dark cloud looms over the US that will surely affect the entire Earth. It is our duty as citizens of the world to stand up to all forms of bigotry and hate.  Tyranny has no place here. It needs to be stamped out before it can take hold. Put on your boots, there is work to be done.

Printsource 2017 (JaN 10+11 NYC) - here we come!

Now that the festive season has been and gone, decorations are packed away for another year and children are back to school, it can only mean one thing - PRINTSOURCE!

I've been pattern mad the last few months preparing a visual feast - from florals (of course) to kids patterns, geos, occasion and the ever popular festive art. Here's a small selection of the patterns on show:

My designs along with fellow finches - Adriana Bergstrom, Adrienne Kerr, Courtney Beth Keller and Albaquirky (aka Tanya Paget) can be seen on January 10th and 11th, 2017 Booth no. A19 at the Metropolitan Pavilion, New York. We are all very excited to be making our Printsource debut. As a group we have such a wide selection of subject and styles - there's something for everyone! So pop along and meet the finches - Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th January -  we'd love to see you there!

Brownstone Pattern

I grew up in a suburb of Chicago, and always loved the Chicago brownstone style homes. For this blog post, I decided to do a mini process blog, and share the beginning to end process of making a pattern. I'll keep it brief but if you have any questions please post them in the comments and I'll check back to answer. 

First, I always start out with my sketchbook. I'll begin by just jotting down my concept and a few visuals. I then collect reference material. For this particular pattern, I knew I wanted it to be loosely-drawn and simplified, so I wasn't as concerned with details as I was with the overall shape and style of each house. 

For this project, I limited my drawing time and used one pen for all the details. Here's a few of the sketches I did before scanning my blackline drawings into the computer to digitize and colorize. 

When I begin working with color, I typically do it in Adobe Illustrator. I like to work at a brisk pace so I see results quickly. Part of what I love about Illustrator is how efficiently I can make things happen, and finally get to the point where I play around with pattern and layout. Which is obviously the BEST part. :)

Here are some of my in-progress colorizing:

The final fun step for this piece was to work with textures and paint in Photoshop. I cropped the pattern down to a size I love, and began painting and adding depth and texture to the houses, so no two look the same. The end-use of a pattern sometimes means that I don't do this step - but when I've created it for fun, I can paint to my heart's content. Here is the final brownstone pattern painted, and envisioned as a pair of gift bags. 

Brownstone Pattern ©2016 courtney beth keller 

Brownstone Pattern ©2016 courtney beth keller

traditional and digital media - how I fell in love with both

By Bryony Clarkson

Those of you that are familiar with the work I have been producing over the past few years will know that I am a massive fan of traditional media, especially paper collage, as a way of creating my designs. I LOVE the hands-on process of cutting and sticking the bits of paper, the flexibility to move the design around before I glue it in place and the ability to add scribble details with pens and pencils. Very often, a design will emerge that is very different from one that I set out to make, and I love that too. It all helps my drawing to evolve and gives it a distinctive style that is all mine. 

So when I was required to travel away from home and pack light, recently I had a work dilemma. I couldn't take a full on studio of boxes of paper, scissors, pencils and glue, so I was forced to think differently. My solution was the iPad Pro with digital pencil. 

I was already familiar with photoshop, as I use it to edit my collage work, so using the Procreate app feels pretty intuitive. It works on the same principle of layers and there is a great range of brushes that are very adaptable. It is super easy to carry around and I find that I can work for a long time without needing to recharge the battery. 

Here is one of the early pieces that I made, just to test out the brushes and mark making available. 

Once I had got to grips with my favourite brushes, I quickly got straight into designing. My process is to sketch straight onto the iPad screen and then create a layer in which I block out the basic shapes in colour, followed by adding layers with markmaring and details. I love the clarity of colour that I can get on the screen and the flexibility to make changes to the design by editing layers. 

I have been working on a series of festive designs for the upcoming season, and when I look back at them, I can see elements of my own style coming through that chimes well with my traditional work, like a handwriting that carries through all of my work.

So what next? Well, I won't be working purely digital, as I sometimes miss the hands-on nature of traditional work, but I think that the ideal for me will be to combine the two processes in one design - scanned collages with digital detailing. Watch this space, once I am back to my studio...! 

 

 

The concept of beauty and my quest for perfection!

 

Bonjour (Hello!) 

My name is Laurence Lavallée or Flo. I am a new member at Finch and Foxgloves. I am so pleased to be part of this amazing group of artistes. 

Who is Flo?

Quick introduction: I started calling myself an artist only last year but I have been working on building my illustration and pattern skills for 3 years. Mum of 2, I lived in Manchester in the United of Kingdom for 10 years before moving back to the motherland, Montréal in Canada last May.

This big move was the best time to declutter not only the household but my life in general. Starting fresh and taking my art career seriously was also at the top of the list.

Because most of our personal items were shipped by boat, we were living for 3 months with the bare minimum and I have to admit I loved it. It just forces you to be resourceful. Fewer objects-toys-clothes-dishes = less mess = less cleaning!

However all my art materials, sewing machine, paint and papers were on the boat. I only brought with me a couple of ink pens and a very limited watercolour palette. Plus for 3 months I was computer-less…meaning I was lost. 

I put my positive pants on and I started to draw and paint everyday. At first, I was very uncomfortable as I alway finish my art on the computer so I can modify and erase mistake and make it perfect. I was getting very frustrated because I was constantly trying to achieve perfection so I could post on my social network beautiful and finished drawings. Maybe it’s my background in Architecture that was dictating this quest for perfection, no wobbly lines and the perfect symmetry.

Series of 3 Portraits: experimenting with ink and watercolours...no computer!

Series of 3 Portraits: experimenting with ink and watercolours...no computer!

I started to question myself: why do I want everything to be perfect? 

Is it more beautiful? 

What is my definition of beauty? 

As a matter of fact, I define a beautiful person as somebody who has charm, whose little imperfections makes them different and quirky, somebody who has a unique style and who has a magical and contagious smile. So if this represents beauty to me, I should than apply the same rules to my art. What a revelation! I felt like a heavy weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I felt free! No more worry, no more thinking when drawing, just letting myself go. Leaving the word perfection at the door when creating opened a new world, and I am now happy to say I finally found my voice and a style which I am comfortable with! Being ME through my art and forgetting about perfection was the missing puzzle on my quest to find MY style and for the first time I feel comfortable drawing a wobbly line!  

Here are 3 sketches embracing my imperfections...

People buy your joy! as Lilla Rogers said. That means if you enjoy the process of creation then your art will shine! I am ready to make my art shine!

- Laurence (aka Flo)

Harvest Time! (Or What to Do When You're Stuck)

AdrianaB_800pxOCT.jpg

We all have those days when we feel like we cannot make anything new, or that our work is not working... those are symptoms of Artist's Block. And it is not a permanent condition, I promise!

November happens to be the perfect time to refill your creative cup in my opinion. It's the seasonal harvest time and you can harvest the fruits of all that art you've labored over throughout the year. It's the time to tap into past work and refine it 'til it's finished.

I love doodling and painting throughout the year. I try and make art every day, but some of it gets lost in the mix and I can't get to finishing it right away. For example, these leaves were painted in September, and I finally took the time to isolate all the icons, and imagine them as a Home Décor Autumn Table Set.

Then, there's the deep kind of harvesting, where you dig REALLY deep into your work. I do this when I've totally lost momentum, and am much too close to my current work to figure out where to go with it. I don't know about you, but I have these waves of super-productive art- making, and then I pick just a few from those sessions to refine. Some of those I didn't pick at first, I forget that I drew! So, here's where keeping a sketchbook, or posting regularly on Instagram comes in handy... I just look deep into my stacks of drawings, or my post history to see old sketches that look interesting to me.

Examples...See this rough dipping pen illustration in the gallery below? I drew it last year, and last month was the perfect time to finish it! See the rough watercolor? I finished up the leaves, added hand-lettering, and made a wreath!

And then there's burnout! You want to avoid getting to this point by giving yourself a break now and then (and also recognizing the signs of impending burnout in your demeanor). Know yourself and know your world

  • Leave your studio.
  • Take a walk or a jog.
  • Look at something totally different - a movie, performance, museum, the sky outside, the inside of your eyelids.
  • Make something different - knit, sew, cook, or just do something completely different.
  • Maybe you're the type of person who gets sensory overload. Try a bit of sensory deprivation for a bit to let things percolate. Then take a nap or just close your eyes for a bit (meditate), take a shower, or bath, or a swim.
  • Try a new art medium.
  • Talk to someone.

I hope these tips and tricks help you out when you're having a hard time making art. Sometimes artists just need a break from making. That's okay too. Don't forget you're not alone in this business of art-making. Every artist and creative struggles with these things.

-Adriana

 

Illustrating Children's Books with Lilla Rogers

Hello! My name's Nataša Kaiser and today I want to tell you about my experience as a student in Lilla Rogers' very first online class about illustrating children's books.

Since I heard the rumor about an upcoming MATS class "Illustrating Children's Books" I wanted to be a part of it. I have taken various MATS classes until now and loved them all, one of the best parts is getting to be part of a wonderful artists community (and by the way that was also how I first got to know most of my fellow finches!). Not to mention the huge amount of information and insights about the market you get – really a lot to take in and absorb.

Illustrating for children has always been one of my big passions and most of the kid's books I've bought for my daughter I actually bought because I admire their art and simply wanted to own them (my daughter didn't mind me spending money on these books though).

So, the #matskidbook class is structured in 5 assignments over the course of five weeks. There are three different texts to choose from, in this class the texts were "The Owl and the Pussycat", "The Gigantic Turnip" and "Ada Lovelace" (written by Zoë Tucker, who is the Art Director at Lilla's side, giving all the specific insides about the market). I chose "The gigantic Turnip".

First week is about character development: The task is to determin the main character of the story and visualize it.  The second week is about facial expressions and illustrating emotions. The third week we were dealing with our characters in different poses. Week four just ended today and the topic was "environment". Next and sadly last week will be dedicated to cover design and as such will also include some lettering exercises, which I'm really looking forward to! Alongside all the infos, videos, inspirational texts and images and artist's interviews we get a sketchbook prompt each day to get us into the habit of regular drawing.

Some sketchbook prompts of the first week were accessories for our characters e.g.:

Accessories like hats, glasses or boots…

Accessories like hats, glasses or boots…

More hats. Another great thing about the sketchbook prompts is that you get to experiment with different techniques – if you wish. I was playing with oilpastels and watercolor on the right side of this page (on the left is ink and watercolor, which I do more often).

More hats. Another great thing about the sketchbook prompts is that you get to experiment with different techniques – if you wish. I was playing with oilpastels and watercolor on the right side of this page (on the left is ink and watercolor, which I do more often).

I think it's so interesting how you really get to know your characters over time and by drawing them over and over. I feel like I can really see the development from week one to week four. The exploration of facial expressions and poses in particular fills them with life and the more you draw the same figure the more believable it becomes.

 

Final for week one

Final for week one

expressions old man

expressions old man

expressions old woman

expressions old woman

expressions turnip

expressions turnip

My final for week 2: facial expressions / emotions of my main characters.

My final for week 2: facial expressions / emotions of my main characters.

In week three we were on vacation in denmark. I was thinking about what poses to draw and my first idea was to illustrate some of the characters pulling the turnip. I had our friends posing for some reference pictures and even our dog became a photo model:

Eventually I decided to show the old man and woman as a couple in different poses for this assignment – but I'm looking forward to putting these reference images to good use at a later point in time.

My final for week 3: The main characters in different poses. By this time I felt that I know my characters so well I wanted to give them names. So please say hello to Paul and Alma :-)

My final for week 3: The main characters in different poses. By this time I felt that I know my characters so well I wanted to give them names. So please say hello to Paul and Alma :-)

This week (4) was all about the environment in which the story is taking place. The story about the gigantic turnip is an old russian folktale. My ancestors are from slovenia (former Yugoslavia) and as a child I spent all of my holidays there. My grandparents had a small farm in the picturesque slovenian countryside and I remember many details of the farmlife, that seemed pretty romantic to me as a child. My grandma used to plant and sow and also to harvest according to the moon calendar. That inspired me to draw the old man planting the turnip during a full moon's night. That might be the reaon why it eventually grew so enormous:

My double page spread shows a sequence of images from the turnip being planted to growing enormously big during the turn of one day – just for the fun of painting different daytimes.

My double page spread shows a sequence of images from the turnip being planted to growing enormously big during the turn of one day – just for the fun of painting different daytimes.

This class has been both very challenging and a whole heap of fun until now and I'm a bit sad that it's coming to an end next week. But there is still all of the material in the classroom to download and go through again, which I will certainly do. If you're interested in learning while connecting to a whole lot of great artists and shamelessly neglecting your household and other social life for the short period of five weeks I highly recommend enrolling in "Make Art that sells – Illustrating Children's Books". Have fun!

A Cheery Sunny Tea Set

Hello Reader! It's Adriana writing today with a blog post on one of my recent projects...

 

Project Brief: Design a cheery tea set for a Sunny client. 1x tea cup, 1x saucer, 1x napkin

layout sketch and hand-lettering tests

layout sketch and hand-lettering tests

The brief called for the design of a teacup, saucer, and napkin... but who could resist not designing the entire set?! Not I! I love tea! 

What should it have on each piece? I'm not a big fan of the cabbage rose and, teensy, frilly flower on my tea sets as many traditional ones are decorated.  And lately, I've been really enjoying working with traditional printmaking methods especially linocut. I made a bunch of patterns and arrangements using stamps I made on my own, and some I took into the digital realm and began testing repeats that way. I was really excited to use my recent patterns on something I'd love to own and see every day. I'm a big fan of tea and the paraphernalia that comes with drinking it.

So I set about sketching and came up with a concept that I'd love to have in my own home. The sketch gave me a general idea of how I'd present my work, and then I set about testing colors.

My first tests with pink...

My first tests with pink...

Oh, I was so unhappy with this color combo! It's not me at all! I'd never buy it. After asking my fellow finches why I hated this so much, they reminded me I don't usually use pink in this way... and they're right, this is not really my shade of pink, nor do I own any pink tableware or pair it with sunshine yellow. Out went the pink!

Once the bright aqua and seafoam green went in, I was gelling. The work just came together so quickly. I knew I had to have sugar tongs and a sugar container, a little creamer, too! Lastly, I went to work balancing the tea-set. I wanted to have a nice mix and match tea set and napkins that could work in many different combinations. So the second saucer carried the more intense color, and the mugs match. The tea tray got a nice under-pattern and texture to match. Each piece had texture, shading, and depth added to create a finished look for presentation.

The final submission and complete tea-set.

The final submission and complete tea-set.

And there you have it! Tea for two... a cuppa for me and one for you!

Happy steeping!

-Adriana

You can never have enough florals

Hi it’s Lisa Kirkbride here, showing a piece I produced recently for Lilla Rogers Make Art that Sells Bootcamp. Due to the “pre-Surtex" and “post-Surtex" effect, I didn’t manage to take part in many of the assignments this year but I couldn’t resist the final project - Florals - and if anyone hadn’t noticed from my social media feeds - I LOVE florals! A LOT!

The assignment was to produce a journal with a particular flower, in my case Zinnia - first task - what is a Zinnia? As much as I love florals, a lot of mine are from my imagination and a little bit kookie, so I needed to do a bit of research. Apparently Zinnia’s thrive in an environment of monsoon rain, interspersed with hot sun and high humidity - not typical UK weather (at least the latter conditions).

I started with some sketches which I took into Illustrator via Adobe Capture from my iPad. It's a really cool app - you scan your image (basically take a picture of it) and it converts your hand drawn lines into vector lines, removing any gradients of the paper and imports the images as vector into your CC Library ready to use. I then started playing with colours and scale and assembled my flowers with some foliage and smaller flowers to add variety and contrast.

Finally I added the hand lettering and some simplistic bird silhouettes in a contrasting colour. Once I was happy with the result I mocked up my finished design onto a Journal. I played around with the scale of the image but felt it worked best when bursting out of the edges of the cover. Like this...

Job done! In addition, I couldn’t resist creating a greetings card and patterns too. We were enjoying a mini heatwave in the UK at the time so a deckchair felt like a must!

Fiesta! My working Process by Bryony Clarkson

Hi Today I am going to give you a bit of insight into my process of working. My previous career was as an Embroidery Designer for fashion and Interiors and I used to use a lot of appliqué to create my designs on Fabric, adding stitched lines for detail and expression. I now work in a very similar way, but with paper rather than fabric. 

I have a vast collection of coloured papers in my studio - that is my paintbox. I store them in big plastic boxes and an old map chest, coded into colours and types, so that's it's easy to delve through and find what I need. My papers are collected from everywhere - some I buy, but others are salvaged from old books, magazines, packaging and maps. 

When I first have an idea for a piece of work, I reach for my sketchbook and scribble down the ideas as pencil drawings. That way I don't loose track of my ideas until I have the time to work them up properly. I always use the same sketchbooks - Daler Rowney Ebony series. i love the quality of the paper and they are quite robust.

Cactus 1.jpg

Once I get down to work, the first thing is to choose a colour palette. I do this by snipping bits of paper and putting them together into a colour range, which I will often name, in case I want to come back and use it another time. 

Then I start cutting! I don't draw on the paper first, I just cut, thinking about the quality of the cut and the type of shape I want to make.

Then I build up layers to create each individual icon. Line details are added with a finalise pen - black or white - or sometimes coloured pencil. Once I am happy with each icon, I arrange them onto a page and stick them down, adding further background details around them. 

The finished collage is then scanned into photoshop, where I can clean the image up and make any further changes, such as whitening up or changing the background colour or, if it's a pattern, creating a repeat.

And - Ole!! - the piece is finished!

After Surtex is before Surtex – or: how to keep making portfolio pieces

Hi there! Today it's me, Nataša Kaiser, writing about getting back to the creative habits after the big Surtex adventure. Finally the dust has settled and things are getting back to normal. The weeks before Surtex of course were fully packed with planning and preparation. We tried to be equiped as good as possible and to provide for all contingencies. Making art was badly neglected as well as terribly missed.

So, finally back in the studio and at the drawing table and after all the follow-up-work I'm happy to be drawing again and to be working on creative projects. I started with some doodeling and idea sketching for the children's book portion of my portfolio:

This image started out as a doodle on the iPad and playing around in the Procreate App. Later I turned the Book Titel into a Birthday Card with only a few changes.

This image started out as a doodle on the iPad and playing around in the Procreate App. Later I turned the Book Titel into a Birthday Card with only a few changes.

And beside of that the Finch&Foxglove collective decided to do an (almost) weekly drawing project. It is my task to pick the topics and announce them in our team calendar, so each of us is aware of the topic and gets the chance to participate and contribute. On fridays the illustrations are then uploaded to social media (Instagram, FB and Twitter) with the #foliofriday. If you're curious what we're making: watch out for it!

Considering ideas and theme-inspiration we received some helpful wishlists from clients at Surtex. There's always a big need for the usual subjects like "holiday" (christmas, easter,…), "birthday", "wedding", "babyshower" and so on and so forth. But some clients have really specific wishes on their lists and some subjects were totally new to me. For example: I had no idea (and I beg your pardon if this seems ignorant) what a "Saltbox" might be – I'm not from the U.S., so I had to look that one up. I learned, that "Saltboxes" are small houses/barns with a certain shape – and they make good motifs for gardenflags and doormats!

Further we can design greeting cards for every single relitive there is on earth, as well as for all live events and occassions, that don't come to mind in first place when thinking about greeting cards (e.g. "Quinceañera, "Boss's Day" or "Christmas From Pet"). We're looking forward to filling up our portfolios with fun stuff and we would love it if you keep an eye on our #foliofriday!

Something we all care about is some good food (and some finches even like to cook!). So we decided to make a recipe illustration every four weeks. We started out with the first course last friday, which was an appetizer. You can find our food and recipe illustrations on www.theydrawandtheycook.com

Looking for a something delicious with a little summer vibe I found inspiration in this Goat Cheese and Mango Quesadillas recipe:

Thanks for stopping by!